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Big Content condemns foreign governments that endorse FOSS

Feb 26, 2010, 14:33 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ryan Paul)

"In accordance with US trade law, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) is required to conduct an annual review of the status of foreign intellectual property laws. This review, which is referred to as Special 301, is typically used to denounce countries that have less restrictive copyright policies than the United States.

"The review process is increasingly dominated by content industry lobbyists who want to subvert US trade policy and make it more favorable to their own interests. We have already noted the targeting of Canada for its supposedly lax copyright laws, but that is not the only nation drawing the ire of Big Content. One of the organizations that plays a key role in influencing the Special 301 review is the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), a powerful coalition that includes the RIAA, the MPAA, and the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The IIPA, which recently published its official recommendations to the USTR for the 2010 edition of the 301 review, has managed to achieve a whole new level of absurdity.

"University of Edinburgh law lecturer Andres Guadamuz wrote a blog entry this week highlighting some particularly troubling aspects of the IIPA's 301 recommendations. The organization has condemned Indonesia and several other countries for encouraging government adoption of open source software. According to the IIPA, official government endorsements of open source software create "trade barriers" and restrict "equitable market access" for software companies."

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